Narrandera footballer Matt Flynn's dream of an AFL debut has been dealt a crushing blow in the form of a serious knee injury.
Flynn ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the North Eastern Australian Football League (NEAFL) on Saturday night and will need to undergo a knee reconstruction.
The 21-year-old had been named as an emergency for Greater Western Sydney's (GWS) AFL team for the past two weeks and was closing in on his senior debut.
Giants general manager of football, Wayne Campbell, said the whole club was shattered for Flynn.
"It's devastating for Flynny," Campbell told the Giants website.
"He's developed each year, each game and each month really that he's been at the football club and had been really close to senior selection.
"Certainly our thoughts go out to him. We're not having a great run at the moment but we'll rally around Flynny and the rest of our boys and get on with it after that."
Flynn was playing for the Giants' reserves against the Northern Territory Thunder at TIO Stadium in Darwin.
He was going back with the flight of the ball into a marking contest when his knee twisted.
"He went down, stepped on the back of Jye Caldwell's leg and hyperextended it," Campbell told the Giants website.
"It was a bit like Stephen (Coniglio), we were hopeful with the diagnosis of the physios and doctors on Saturday night but he had scans (Monday) and he's ruptured his ACL."
Flynn has been with the Giants since he was picked up alongside fellow Riverina products Matt Kennedy, Harry Himmelberg and Jacob Hopper at the end of 2015.
While he is yet to play an AFL game, the Giants showed their faith in Flynn by extending his contract for a further two years back in May, meaning he will be at the club until the end of 2021 at least.